Adam McGahagin interviews Brandon Ryan — Writer, Author, Living with Cerebral Palsy
Brandon Ryan: Well, some days I open my eyes, look out the window and then slam my head back down into my pillows. Some days I just want to sleep. But then I realize that I have to get up, I have to make something of the day I’ve been given. Some days are easier than others. Some days, I feel like I’m on cloud nine, and other days I just feel so worn out. I spend a lot of time promoting and marketing my first book. I try and remember that there are people in this world that believe in me. But some days I get down and think “What’s the point of all this?” I day dream a lot, I think every writer spends a huge chunk of time, day dreaming, studying and reflecting. But really, I’m just like anybody else, I get up and I work from nine to five, sometimes later.
Enoch Magazine) What are some things you love doing, and does CP ever get in the way?
Brandon Ryan: Dude, I’m a total gym rat. I love working out, but some days my body aches and I feel really old. I try not to let my condition get the best of me. Some days it knocks me down, because I’ll overdue it. My friends and family remind me to be careful, but it never really seems to sink in until I’m sick or in a lot of pain. And I love going for walks, but I can’t seem to do that any more with out getting tired, so most of the time, when I’m out an about I’m in my wheel chair, it just makes life easier.
Enoch Magazine) Do you believe God allowed you to get CP? If so, any ideas why?
Brandon Ryan: Well… Yes. It wasn’t like God sneezed and screwed up when he formed me in the womb. I’m sure he wasn’t thinking ‘oops I messed up, can’t start over now!” You know, so many people relate the reasons for having disabilities, as a result of “the fall,” But I just don’t buy a lot of these cliche responses anymore. I think God knew what he was doing. I think that I have Cerebral Palsy, because if I could run, walk or jump I probably wouldn’t think of needing God as much — if at all. My parents have told me time and again, that if I was able-bodied I probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble, for fighting or something. When I was in High School, there were plenty of times I’d probably would have gotten into a few fights — if I could of, . Haha!
Enoch Magazine) Many churches and TV evangelists preach miracle healings? I’ve even heard them associate disability with satanic oppression, (possibly referencing Jesus healing the mute in Matt. 9:32). What’s your take on all of that?
Brandon Ryan: Wow, now where getting into the deep water here. When it comes to the issue of healing, I have some very personal responses. Once a lady told an old friend of mine that God didn’t heal him, because his faith was to weak. To this day, that statement it still angers me, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hate it when a Christian says to someone who just got diagnosed with a terminal illness that there’s sin in his or her life. It’s so disrespectful and shows no concern for the human condition. People use the word satanic and demonic way to much. And it’s like the blind man that was brought to Jesus, his disciples asked who sinned. And Jesus’s response was “nobody sinned.” People need to learn to treat the issue of healing with great respect, because if you don’t know someone’s story, you shouldn’t point the finger and assume that what happened to them is due to demonic inflictions. The bases of such a statement is just total crap.
Enoch Magazine) Society sees CP and other medical conditions as validation that God is NOT loving or not real. We hear statements like “If there was a God, why would he let people suffer with illnesses?” Aren’t you in a special position to finally answer that age-old question?
Brandon Ryan: Yeah… I thought the same thing once, and you know it’s so easy to put the blame on someone for something that you can’t wrap your mind around. And you’re right, it is an age old question, and probably will never go away. This really is a tough one to answer. I think for me, over time, faith in Jesus has helped me cope with my disability. Now, there are days where I think to myself “Screw all this, God doesn’t give a rats ass, he just wants to see me suffer.” and I get mad. I’ll throw my Bible across the room and eventually find my self in a sobbing mess. But in all truth, we can shake are fists all day long at God and Athiests can refuse to believe based on the “flawed World” premise. However, there will come a point in which every person must face facts. We can moan and groan all day long about how Gods not loving.. But if you’re only basing that off of what you see, its pure arrogance. I would challenge anybody to read the Gospels; put your self in the stories. You will see that God is full of compassion. See if these stories don’t change your life. They’ll be ingrained in the back of your mind forever.
Enoch Magazine) Do you think having CP has drawn you closer to God, or has it hindered your relationship with Him?
Brandon Ryan: Oh yes, totally. Sometimes God and I have our fights. But I secretly thinks he likes it when we fight. I find comfort in the scars upon Christ’s back. To me, all the pain that he endured was his way of telling me that he cares, and that He knows how I feel. Jesus wants to take our pain on — he is not afraid of it. I just wish so many people would see that.
Brandon Ryan: Well, haha! I am still promoting and marketing my 1st book Emotional Struggle. I feel like there is still a lot of ground to be covered with it. I’d love to do an Emotional Struggle tour, to reach as many people as possible. Speaking at Churches about today’s issues with depression, suicide and mental heath is something I really enjoy and must continue doing. But all of this is so hard to set in place. I get discouraged sometimes, but like a phoniex I continually rise. I always do. Yes, there will be a second book. When, I don’t know. But it’s starting to become highly inticipated haha! Writing a book is like giving birth. (“Anytime now”… 🙂
Enoch Magazine)Thank you for your time, Brandon.